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Local News Briefs

Silt resident Kenneth Lee Thomas, 63, died Monday, apparently while installing a fence on the St. Benedict Monastery property in Old Snowmass.Aspen/Pitkin County Combined Communications received a call of a man unconscious and not breathing at approximately 1:20 p.m. in a hayfield on Capitol Creek Road, roughly 3.2 miles from the intersection of Snowmass Creek Road and Capitol Creek Road, according to a release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.Two good Samaritans performed CPR on Thomas until the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District medics arrived. Advanced life support was given in the field, but Thomas was later pronounced dead on the scene.The incident is being investigated by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office. The initial investigation shows the cause of death not to be suspicious in nature.

Extremely dry weather conditions have made the fire danger in New Castle and surrounding areas dangerously high. The town of New Castle has temporarily banned open-burning fires and the use, sale and possession of fireworks.Open-burning fires are not allowed, including: burning of weeds, brush and trash; campfires; fires in fire rings, fire pits, or grates; and stoves, broilers, or barbecues that use wood or coal. Propane, gas or charcoal barbecues are still allowed.Smoking is not allowed unless you are in an enclosed vehicle or building, or outside in an area clear of all flammable material for at least three feet in diameter .All fireworks are prohibited, including: toy cannons or toy canes; blank cartridges; firecrackers; torpedoes; skyrockets; rockets; Roman candles; cylindrical fountains; cone fountains; wheels; ground spinners; illuminating torches; colored fire; dayglo bombs and torches; sparklers; and snakes.The fire and fireworks ban is in effect until Nov. 1, 2006.For details, contact the New Castle Police Department at 984-2302.


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